NIELSEN RETURNS TO SCOTT

When Brigitte Nielsen bailed out of her 18-month marriage to Sylvester Stallone in 1987, she sought the comfort of Tony Scott, who directed her in Beverly Hills Cop II. Later, in 1989, amid reports that her new boyfriend, former New York Jets pro football star Mark Gastineau, was beating her, the first man she ran to was Scott. Now she has left Gastineau again, so where did Nielsen go this time?

That's right, to Scott, who is on location in Daytona, Fla., directing the Tom Cruise stock-car racing movie, Days of Thunder. Nielsen and Scott were spotted last week as they climbed aboard a crowded elevator at the Daytona Beach Marriott hotel. According to a source who was also on the elevator, the 6' Nielsen tried to be inconspicuous on the ride up from the lobby. "But that was impossible," says the source, "because she was bigger than everyone else on the elevator."

ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN
E. Howard Hunt, the former CIA agent who spent 32 months in jail after being convicted along with G. Gordon Liddy and five other Watergate burglars, is now trying to break into show business. He's pitching an idea for a TV series about a retired CIA agent who is called back into service to "perform certain jobs for the government," according to his manager, Flo Levy. Additionally, Limit of Darkness, a World War II novel Hunt wrote in 1944, has been optioned by an independent film production company. As for Beautiful People, Hunt's rather odd conception for a musical based on the Claus von Bülow story, Levy says, "It still hasn't gotten off the ground."

BOWIE TESTS FAN LOYALTY

Rock star David Bowie has been called a chameleon because of a seemingly uncanny ability to reinvent himself in any number of stage personas. A far greater task for Bowie, perhaps, will be inventing enough ticket buyers to make the American leg of his world concert tour a financial success. His first concert here, in Miami, was scheduled for last Friday (April 27).

Ticket sales, according to recording industry sources, are not going well. Factor in the generally negative reviews in Europe for Bowie's Sound + Vision tour and the fact that Changes Bowie, his current album, is a best-of collection rather than a new studio effort, and you might expect to find some very worried folks in the Bowie camp.

The camp, however, says everything's just fine. In fact, they seem so confident that they've added a second date (May 23) at Los Angeles's 56,000-seat Dodger Stadium even though our sources contend that Bowie's first date at the site (May 26) is barely half-sold.

RINGED VICTORY

The etiquette of breaking up, if there is such a thing, came into play recently when actor Charlie Sheen, 24, ended his yearlong engagement to Kelly (Twins) Preston, 26.

You see, there was this little matter of Preston's 25-carat pink diamond engagement ring, valued at more than $200,000. Sheen checked the propriety of the situation and was told that since he was the one who was breaking off the engagement, it would be in poor taste to ask for the ring back. So he didn't.

Of course, Preston hasn't thought of giving it back either. According to her publicist, "Even since the breakup, the ring is never off her finger."